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‘Position and hold’
When is a clearance not a clearance? That’s not a trick question. It asks what you’ll do if you request permission for takeoff from a control tower, but the instructions you receive are to “taxi into position and hold.”
According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary in the Aeronautical Information Manual, the phrase is “used by ATC to inform a pilot to taxi onto the departure runway in takeoff position and hold. It is not authorization for takeoff. It is used when takeoff clearance cannot immediately be issued because of traffic or other reasons,” explained the June 14, 2002, " Training Tip: Safe ground operations.”
When tower-controlled airports get hectic, controllers need flexibility positioning aircraft for arrival and departure. They rely on pilots to understand the tools in the controllers’ toolbox; the “position and hold” instruction is one of those tools. Learn more from Question 4 in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Quiz “ Pilot/Controller Glossary: VFR Operations.”
In many cases, whatever situation prevented the takeoff clearance resolves itself before you finish taxiing onto the runway. If so, you’ll receive a takeoff clearance while you are still rolling along. But this is not always the case. If a preceding arrival required a long ground roll, or if that aircraft had to taxi some distance before being able to clear, you may be in for a wait.
Alertness is the name of the game, especially if traffic is inbound to the runway on which you are holding, as Chip Wright discussed in the August 2005 AOPA Pilot feature “ Runway Manners.” “At airports with control towers, controllers make liberal use of the ability to tell an aircraft to taxi into position and hold. The controllers are required to advise the departing aircraft of traffic on final, and each airport has its own comfort level for following the rule for how close the landing traffic can be when they allow the position-and-hold procedure to be used.” If you don’t receive your takeoff clearance shortly and there’s traffic bearing down, don’t just sit there! Request further instructions, as recommended in the FAA’s February 2007 “ Position-and-Hold Guidance for Pilots” document.
Stay alert—and always maintain your own traffic lookout before taxiing onto a runway, even when ATC is calling the plays.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is the best reference for learning good air traffic control communication skills and phraseology. Your most important lesson as you learn to use the right words is learning not to be afraid of using the wrong words. Regardless of the form it takes, communication is the goal. Read more on effective communication in the archives of AOPA Flight Training magazine. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.
AIR, Inc., an aviation career information service based in Atlanta, shut down last week. AIR, Inc.’s Web site offered information on airline job openings, career fairs, and résumé services, and also provided data on pilot hiring to AOPA Flight Training, which published the month-by-month hiring data in its “Career Pilot” section. “The current status of the airline industry and the economy has made our business unsustainable, and we are closing,” AIR, Inc. President and Publisher Kit Darby said in a message to subscribers. He said the Web site will remain up but won’t be updated. Meanwhile, members and subscribers can receive services from Fltops.com.
An accelerated aviation maintenance program is now available through a partnership between St. Petersburg College in Florida and the National Aviation Academy (NAA), an aviation maintenance training facility. Under the new program, students can earn NAA credentials, FAA certifications, and an aviation maintenance management technology associate in science degree in 21 months. The entities have been cooperating on training and education programs for five years. The accelerated program, announced last week, “will speed up the process significantly, benefitting the industry as well as graduates who are eager to get to work,” said SPC President Carl M. Kuttler.
Nominations open for aerospace teacher of the year
The National Aviation Hall of Fame is accepting nominations of outstanding aerospace educators for the A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award. The award is named for the late aviator, who was the first man to successfully fly at speeds of Mach 2 and Mach 3. The contest is open to classroom teachers of grades K through 12 from any public, private, or parochial school. The chosen educator will be honored in July at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and he or she will receive a $1,500 cash stipend. The deadline for nominations is May 1.
Flight instructor with a passion
Within the last five years, the Liberty University School of Aeronautics in Lynchburg, Va., has grown from four students to more than 250 in its accredited, FAA-certificated aviation program—with around 125 students actively participating in flight instruction—to become one of the two largest Christian university aviation programs in the United States. One of the secrets to the school’s success is a passionate senior staff who have more than 180 years of flight experience in all areas of the industry dedicated to training new prospective pilots. Read more >>
Open an AOPA personal checking account and receive $100
At a time when every penny counts, an extra $100 in your checking account could come in handy. And that’s exactly what you’ll get if you open a new qualifying AOPA personal checking account from Bank of America by April 30. You’ll enjoy key features such as free online banking with bill pay, plus mobile banking on your cell phone. Best of all, get automatic savings when you enroll in the Keep the Change service—where each check-card purchase is rounded up to the next dollar and the difference is transferred from your checking to your savings account. Also, you’ll be supporting AOPA with every check card purchase. These contributions are used to fund AOPA’s mission to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. To enroll, use offer code SPEP100 when you visit or call your neighborhood Bank of America, or go online.
Sporty’s offers weekly video tips
Sporty’s Web site is offering a free video tip each week on the pilot shop home page. The tips are culled from Sporty’s line of complete training courses. This week’s clip explains visual glideslopes. The clip will be updated each Monday, according to the Web site.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
Question: I have decided to work toward a sport pilot certificate. It’s very difficult to find a light sport aircraft to rent. Can I do some or all of my sport pilot training in a Cessna 172 or similar aircraft?
Answer: Yes. Certainly it would be most helpful to complete all of your training in the same kind of airplane, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to a light sport aircraft. In fact, you can do almost all of your sport pilot training in an airplane that does not meet the definition of light sport aircraft in FAR 1.1. The only flight time you would need to log in a light sport aircraft would be your solo flights and your checkride. You can learn all about the sport pilot regulations on AOPA Online.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
WHAT'S NEW ONLINE
Version 1.2.1 of the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP) will soon be released. This update adds an NDB chart overlay, features two new video tips (weather briefing and pan/zoom), and corrects a bug in how the application handles true airspeed calculations during descents from high-altitude routes. New icons have also been added to the application. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Director of Planned Giving and Director of Development for the AOPA Foundation; an Aviation Technical Specialist; and a part-time Data Analyst. AOPA also has 2009 summer intern positions available in various divisions. For more information about the internships, e-mail AOPA Human Resources. For other career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our brand-new online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 1,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calender page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Baltimore Md., and King of Prussia, Pa., March 7 and 8; Phoenix, Ariz., and Ontario, Calif., March 14 and 15; Orlando Fla., and Virginia Beach, Va., March 21 and 22; San Mateo, Calif., March 28 and 29; Atlanta, Ga., Northbrook, Ill., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Ashburn, Va., April 4 and 5. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Rochester, Minn., and Las Vegas, Nev., March 2; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 3; Bellevue, Neb., March 4; Olathe, Kan., March 5; Northbrook, Ill., and Ypsilanti, Mich., March 9; Bolingbrook, Ill., Bedford, Mass., and Cleveland, Ohio, March 10; Peoria, Ill., and Whitehall, Ohio, March 11. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh